Barcelona’s El Born is a centric neighbourhood just across the street (which would be Via Laietana) from the slightly more touristy El Gótico. It is home to some of the best eating and drinking places in town, and is also bustling with charming little shops showcasing local artists and designers and hand-made treasures from all around the world.
The best way to explore El Born area is by getting lost in this labyrinth of narrow alleys, but I put together a map of my favourite interior design-related places, so you don’t miss a thing!
1. Marea Verde
A striking example of a shop beautiful both on the inside and on the outside! The building used to be a pharmacy, and it preserves the interiors – pink cement floors and art nouveau furniture – and the modernist mosaics on the facade – arguably the most beautiful in its kind that you will find in Barcelona. Inside you will discover a lovely selection of pot plants, and prices are very reasonable.
Ronda Sant Pere, 40. Web
2. Ici et Là
A little and very colourful art gallery featuring furniture, lighting and artwork made in Barcelona by local artists, represented by Isabelle, the founder of the gallery. Upon request, any piece can be made in a custom size. The Catman, K. Fabrizzi, V. Linares, I. Fortuny, Josep Cerdá – are among the artists and creators, whose works make up Isabelle’s collection. The gallery is located at Passatge de Sert – a passage that runs through what used to be one of Barcelona’s largest textile factories, owned by the Sert family. It is so little and discreet, that it can go unnoticed even by locals, let alone visitors. I myself only found out about it because of Ici et Là.
Passatge Sert, 5. Web
3. La Casa de las Lámparas
If you don’t want to go for vintage, here is the biggest shop for lamps and lighting solutions in Barcelona. Four floors packed with table, ceiling, wall and other types of lamps in a variety of styles, including some gorgeous crystal chandelier lamp, such as the one you can see in Gemma’s Barcelona Home Tour.
Carrer de les Jonqueres, 18. Web
This charming little shop has a pronounced ethnic bohemian vibe, and there is a reason to that – everything you will find there – vintage decor and furniture and pieces created from recycled materials – comes from India. Casa Azul have another shop at Mercantic, and a 500 sq.meter at Zona Franca, if you’re interested to see more of their colourful vintage finds from the land of the Maharajas.
Carrer de Sant Pere Més Baix, 46. Web
Ernst and Annelie came to Barcelona from the Netherlands, and brought the Dutch design with them. Their showroom is an exposition of furniture and home decor from a wide array of Dutch brands, and a lot more can be purchased from catalogs. But if there is something that instantly strikes the eye about the showroom, is that the Dutch couple definitely have a soft spot for colour. BANQA also offer home-staging services.
Carrer del Comerç, 15. Web
A new addition to El Born’s design scene, Moments is a gorgeous concept store hosted in an old building with tall ceilings and exposed brick walls offering a bespoke selection of textiles from Afghanistan and diverse creations of local artisans and artists – baskets, cutlery, wall art and a lot more.
Carrer dels Flassaders, 17. Web
A goldmine for lovers of classy and authentic Mid-Century Scandinavian furniture and decor, founded by fashion designer Sofia Gidlööf and architect Guim Costa, who have also developed their own line of furniture and textiles of Scandinavian influences called Gidlöof Originals and offer home-staging services.
Passatge Mercantil, 1. Web
‘More is more’ could be the motto of this multi-brand shop, offering quirky animalistic figures and lamps by Ornamante, the capsule collection by Jaime Hayona for Lladró, multi-colored stationary and decor by Octaevo (Nuovum is the exclusive vendor), exquisite Raawi pottery (Denmark), jaw-dropping primate vases by Elena Salmistraro and much more.
Carrer de la Bòria, 23. Web
Mercilona – fun illustrations and stationery from more than 30 creators, all of them based in Barcelona. The best place for Barcelona-themed wall art!
Carrer de la Bòria, 22. IG
10. Botanicum Atelier Floral
The second flower shop in this roundup, and also a must-visit for the mere beauty of it, Botanicum is a celebration of dry and preserved floral art. Don’t miss the super pretty colourful pottery from Cerax, I got a couple of pots for my place!
Carrer dels Banys Vells, 7. Web
A bright-colored bookshop slash art gallery, packed with publications from independent Spanish and international publishers, hand-made ceramics, kokedamas and wall art.
Carrer de Brosolí 6. Web
An eclectic showroom offering a mix of new and recycled furniture, but the definite highlight of the store is the daring and provocative photography by Sílvia Serra, who also happens to be the store founder.
Carrer Brosolí, 4. Web
13. Bon Vent
Bon Vent’s concept is inspired in the Mediterranean style slow living. The sun and the sea. A mix of old and new. Vintage lamps and elegant cutlery given a second life, Cerabella candles made in Barcelona, gorgeous Moroccan dishware in a variety of styles mixed in with locally made ceramics, a selection of natural cosmetics from France, Greece and Morocco, flora and fauna inspired wall art – they have everything to cater to all your senses and make you feel good.
Carrer de l’Argenteria, 41. Web
Hidden in a small alley two steps of the beautiful Gothic church Santa María del Mar, Concret is a design shop where you will find a huge and very global and eclectic selection of objects from coloured Czech crystals and untreated sheepskins to local design icons, such as a Miguel Milà lamp.
Carrer de la Volta dels Tamborets, 5. Web
A very fun and edgy glasses brand from Barcelona, ETNIA’s flagship store is a piece of art on its own, as its design was signed by Lázaro Rosa Violán. Correct me if I’m wrong, but right now he has got to be the №1 interior designer in Spain when it comes to new hotels and restaurants. Etnia’s design features an eclectic mix of vintage and industrial styles and some hallmark elements of Barcelona architecture, including the traditional tiled floor.
Carrer de l’Espaseria, 1, 3. Web